Briscoe “pleased” with second quarter sales growth

briscoeBriscoe Group saw slower sales growth than expected in the second quarter, which it put down to a late winter and the Lions rugby tour, but says it is generally happy with the first half of the year.

Revenue rose 2.6 per cent to $139 million in the three months ended July 30 and gained 3 per cent on a same-store basis, the Auckland-based company said on Thursday.

Homeware sales across the group rose 0.8 per cent and sporting goods sales gained 6.2 per cent in the quarter.

Managing director Rod Duke, who owns more than three-quarters of the company, says the second quarter had been challenging in a number of areas, after sales of homewares, especially seasonal products in the electrical and Manchester categories, hadn’t seen the expected growth due to a late start to winter.

Sales rose 4.4 per cent to $280.3m in the first half, with homewares up 4.6 per cent and sporting goods up 4.2 per cent.

“The late start to winter and warmer temperatures generally, particularly for Auckland and the rest of the North Island, during key promotional campaigns, subdued the significant sales growth experienced by our homeware segment in the first quarter of this year,” said Duke.

“In addition we believe the switch of discretionary income from general retail to hospitality during the Great British and Irish Lions’ tour also impacted homeware sales during the second quarter. As for the first quarter, we traded some homeware gross profit percentage to ensure the competitiveness of our promotions.

“We are very pleased with the increase in sales recorded for the sporting goods segment for this second quarter as we look to optimise gross profit dollars and consolidate sporting goods sales which we have grown significantly over recent years.

“Overall we are satisfied with the positive sales and profit growth achieved for the second quarter and our bottom line continues to track ahead of last year despite the high levels of competitiveness across the retailing sectors in which we operate.”

Briscoe is forecasting a net profit of $28m for the first half, which would be a record, and compares to $27.3m in 2016. In March, the company posted another record annual profit of $59.4m, a 26 per cent lift on the year prior.

Shares for the retail group rose 0.3 per cent to $4.46 on the NZX and have gained 15 per cent in the last 12 months.

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